Originally known as Battleheart, Alestorm, the purveyors of the relatively unexplored musical territory known as "pirate metal," formed in their original (pre-nautical) phase in 2004. As Battleheart, the group was initially a duo formed by Gavin Harper (guitar) and Christopher Bowes (vocals and keyboards), and recorded its first EP (a self-titled affair) in 2006. Over the course of the next year, feeling the need to bring their sound to the people of Scotland, Battleheart expanded to a four-piece with the addition of bassist Dani Evans and drummer Doug Swierczek. The new crew recorded another EP soon after, entitled Terror on the High Seas, and the buzz helped land a song from the release on Metal Hammer magazine's Battle Metal V compilation. Later that year, in 2007, the bandmembers -- after signing with Napalm Records -- decided to change their name to further the cause of their unique brand of metal, settling on Alestorm. Eventually, the lineup coalesced a bit more, with Ian Wilson bringing stability to the drummer position, and Alestorm released their debut album, Captain Morgan's Revenge, in early 2008. The band toured the United States later that year with fellow folk-metal giants Týr and Heidevolk before releasing its second full-length, Black Sails at Midnight, in spring 2009. The band further cemented their reputation for pirate-themed metal over the next five years by releasing two albums, 2011's Back Through Time and 2014's Sunset on the Golden Age. A year later, their fourth album guitarist, Dani Evans, left the group; he was eventually replaced by Máté Bodor (Wisdom), who made his first recorded appearance on their fifth studio album, 2017's No Grave But the Sea. ~ Chris True
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